Electronics Glossary – W

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Term Definition
W crimp Used on SOLISTRAND* terminals. A confined type of crimp that makes two longitudinal indentations which form a “W” cross section.
WAAS Wide Area Augmentation Signal
Wafer A thin, right cylindrical section slice of a semiconductor ingot or boule, from which discrete semiconductors or integrated circuits are manufactured. For RF/microwave devices, a wafer is typically 4 – 6 inches or 100 – 200 mm in diameter, and from 0.005 to 0.030 inches thick. See also substrate.
WAG Wireless Assisted-GPS
Wall Thickness The thickness of the applied insulation or jacket.
WAN Wide Area Network- A network which encompasses interconnectivity between devices over a wide geographic area.
Warmup Drift Change in the output voltage of a converter over a specified period of time. All other operating parameters (load, line, etc.) are assumed to be held constant. Often specified as starting after a warm up period.
warmup time Time measured from the application of power to an operable system (or device) to the instant when it is capable of functioning in its intended manner.
warp Dimensional change in a molded, extruded, formed, or fabricated plastic part after processing.
Water Absorption Test A method to determine the water uptake of a material. It is time and temperature dependent.
Water Blocking The sticking together of insulated wires; usually caused by heat.
watt The unit for power, abbreviated as “W,” equal to 1 joule per second. The practical unit of electric power. In a dc circuit, the power in watts is equal to voltage multiplied by current. In an ac circuit, the true power in watts is effective voltage multiplied by effective current, then multiplied by the circuit power factor. There are 746 watts in 1 horsepower.
wattage rating A rating expressing the maximum power that a device can safely handle continuously.
Wave A disturbance that is a function of time, space or both.
wave soldering An automatic soldering method whereby the molten solder is pumped from a reservoir through a spout to form a head or wave. The board is then passed over the wave by a conveyor.
Waveform The geometric shape of one period of an electric signal when it is plotted or displayed versus time or some other variable.
Waveguide A system of material boundaries that direct electromagnetic energy waves. There are many different waveguide configurations, the most popular of which is constructed from hollow rectangular, elliptical or circular cross sections of metal. Some waveguides are filled with materials whose dielectric constants are higher than that of air, such as Teflon”. Waveguides can also be implemented on the surface of a printed circuit board, as is the case for coplanar waveguide.
Wavelength The physical distance between two points of identical phase on consecutive cycles of a wave. The symbol for wavelength is lambda, “l”. Wavelength is related to frequency according to the equation l=c/f, where c is the speed of light (3*108 m/s) f is frequency in Hz.
WBI Web-based Intranets
WCDMA Wideband code division multiple access. Wideband CDMA, developed by Ericsson and others, provides higher data rates than present CDMA systems, and has been selected for the third generation of mobile telephone systems in Europe, Japan and the United States.
Weber The practical unit of magnetic flux. It is the amount of magnetic flux, which, when linked at a uniform rate with a single turn electric circuit during an interval of one second, will induce an electromotive force of one volt.
wedge bond A metal to metal lead bond formed with a wedge-shaped tool. The bond itself may be a cold weld, an ultrasonic or a thermal compression bond.
welded circuit A circuit made up of electronic parts which have their leads interconnected by welding techniques.
Wetting The formation of a relatively uniform, smooth, unbroken, and adherent film of solder to a base metal. Also, the free flow of solder alloy, with proper application of heat and flux, on a metallic surface to produce an adherent bond.
WGS84 World Geodetic Reference 1984
White Noise Noise with constant energy per unit bandwidth that is independent of the central frequency.
wicking Capillary absorption of liquid (including water) along the fibers of the base material. The flow of solder along the strands and under the insulation of stranded lead wire.
Wideband A loosely used term that indicates a large bandwidth to center frequency ratio. A system is considered to be wideband if this ratio is greater than approximately 10 percent.
Wilkinson Splitter A transmission line structure that splits power incident on the input port into two or more output ports. In most implementations, the power is divided equally. A Wilkinson splitter can also be used to combine two or more signals.
Winchester disk A type of hard disk drive in which the read/write head is held a few millionths of an inch above the disk whenever the disk is spinning.
Winding Factor (K) The ratio of the total area of copper wire inside the center hole of a toroid to the window area of the toroid.
Window Area (Wa) The area in and around a magnetic core which can be used for the placement of windings.
wiping action The action which occurs when contacts are mated with a sliding motion. Wiping has the effect of removing small amounts of contamination from the contact surfaces, thus establishing better conductivity. See also contact wipe.
wire A single bare or insulated metallic conductor having solid, stranded, or tinsel construction, designed to carry current in an electric circuit.
wire barrel The portion(s) of a terminal, splice, or contact that is crimped. When designed to receive the conductor, it is called the wire barrel. When designed to support or grip the insulation, it is called the insulation barrel. Wire and/or insulation barrels may be either “open” or “closed” in design. Closed barrels resemble a hollow cylinder into which the wire must be inserted. Open barrels are formed into an open “U” and are common to most strip terminals manufactured by AMP Incorporated.
Wire Bonding The very low resistance fusion of a conductive wire to a metallized area of a semiconductor die. For most RF/microwave semiconductors, the wire and the topmost layer of metal on the semiconductor die are very pure gold (Au).
wire crimp The final configuration of a terminal barrel after the necessary compression forces have been applied to cause a functional union between the terminal barrel and wire.
Wire Dress The orderly arrangement of wires and laced harnesses.
wire nut A form of closed end splice, that is screwed on instead of being crimped.
wire size See American Wire Gauge, and circular mil area.
wire stop A stop at the end of a terminal wire barrel to prevent wire from passing completely through the barrel in such a way as to interfere with the function of the contact.
Wire Wrap Trademark of the Gardner-Denver Corp for a wrap-type termination. See also wrap type.
Wiring closet Telecommunications closet. The area of the building that houses the termination of the horizontal cabling.May also contain LAN electronics.
Withstanding Voltage The test voltage an electrical connector can withstand for one minute without showing evidence of electrical breakdown when the voltage is applied between conductors and grounding devices of the connectors in various combinations. Also see Breakdown Voltage and Isolation.
WLAN Wireless local area network
WLL Wireless local loop.
word A set of bits constituting the smallest addressable unit of information in a programmable memory.
word length The number of bits in a word.
word time In reference to words stored serially, the time required to read one word from the main or central memory.
Work area Where the users’ communications equipment resides.The part of the cabling system between the outlet and the equipment.
work harden The hardening of metal from pressure or bending. When the metal gets too hard it becomes brittle.
wrap type Method of connecting a solid wire to a square, rectangular, or V-shaped terminal post by tightly wrapping or winding the wire around it with a special automatic or hand-operated tool.
write To deliver data to a medium such as storage.